By Marina Al Naser, guest writer

On Jan. 26, Segerstrom opened its doors to welcome professors in the STEM departments along with students who came to celebrate the relaunch of the Center for Research In Science (CRIS). CRIS was created to encourage STEM students to engage the community and to help students apply Christian faith to their future careers. This event was a celebration for the relaunch of this program with new improvements and added goals.

The evening started with a word from CLAS (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences) Dean Jennifer Walsh. Walsh spoke to the importance of CRIS in integrating faith with science, stating that by doing this CRIS contributes to achieving Azusa Pacific University’s mission statement.

CRIS Director Louise Huang, Ph.D., addressed event participants.

“Today is about you, celebrating you and all that you do in science,” Huang said.

Huang points to CRIS as a program that not only bridges STEM departments with aspects of faith, but provides opportunities for research, internships, scholarships and outreach events.

“We hope to inspire young minds the value of science, that they would appreciate and understand what we do here is really holistic and transformative. We do not only offer rigorous classes, but we also integrate faith and Christian values and ethics,” Huang said.

Several student representatives shared their experience with CRIS during the Thursday event.

Phi Delta Epsilon Medical Fraternity President Abel De Castro spoke on the research opportunity that CRIS has given him since his freshman year at APU.

“Doing research has taught me to push the boundaries to increase my knowledge and to reach my goals. I learned that nothing in science comes easy, you really have to push the boundaries of what you know and constantly be challenged by what you are given. Working in research has increased my ability to think critically,” De Castro said.

De Castro sees that the importance of CRIS program lies in its goal of unifying all the three science departments.

“After all, nothing comes from emptiness. All sciences are related and connected,” De Castro said.

CRIS Board Member Jennifer Young, Ph.D., gave further insight into integrating different aspects of faith, vocation, and research into the CRIS, stating excitement over Huang as the newly appointed CRIS director.

The relaunch of CRIS carries new changes to the APU community. CRIS program has always been a bridge that connects students to both science and faith, but with new enacted programs, CRIS will act as a bridge between all three departments of science. To know more about the new CRIS projects, visit